Beaver Falls, PA - Geneva College′s men′s basketball team was coming off its worst loss of the season on Wednesday night at Westminster and was looking to use the emotion of senior night on Saturday to get back on track. The recipe back fired as the Golden Tornadoes suffered an 80-70 loss to a Waynesburg University team that picked up only its sixth victory of the season. Geneva, which has now lost back to back games for the first time all season, fell to 17-8 on the campaign.
A group of five seniors were honored prior to game as they prepared to play their final regular season home game. Rich Colick highlighted the group as the only the 11th 1500 point scorer in history. Saturday, however, may be a night that Colick would like to soon forget. Held scoreless in the first half, he managed only seven points in the second half before fouling out with five minutes left in regulation. Bryan Hill, Geneva′s all-time leading three point shooter, was held to nine points on 3-10 shooting from beyond the arc. "It is a really disappointing night," said head coach Jeff Santarsiero. "We are getting ready to play our biggest games of the season in the NCCAA play-offs and we are playing our worst basketball of the season. I really didn′t see this coming with such a veteran group, but we have to find a way to get refocused for the upcoming challenge of a scholarship program coming into our gym."
Santarsiero is referring to Geneva′s NCCAA east regional semi-final match-up against Mt. Vernon Nazarene scheduled for Wednesday night at 7:30 pm. The winner will advance to meet Roberts Wesleyan with a chance to move on to the NCCAA national tournament. On Saturday, however, a national tournament appearance was the last thing on the minds of a struggling Geneva team.
A three-point field at the halftime buzzer from Waynesburg reduced Geneva′s lead to just two points and the second half was equally as frustrating. The Yellowjackets took command of the game in the final ten minutes and the Golden Tornadoes could not find that big basket to ignite the biggest crowd of the season of close to 1000 at Metheny Fieldhouse. "I feel bad because we let our fans down," said Santarsiero. "We had great support tonight and we didn′t capitalize on that momentum and just played a bad basketball game. Give credit to Waynesburg for battling all night. Those kids wanted it more than us tonight."
Drew Santarsiero led Geneva with 16 points on 4-8 shooting including three treys. Seniors Brandon Sopko and Bryce Salamone each posted 11 points in the loss. Lambros Svingos scored nine points and grabbed a game high 12 rebounds.
Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences and professional studies. Founded in the tradition of the Reformed Christian faith, Geneva prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society: work, family and the church. Geneva College′s philosophy of education is based on the Foundational Concepts of Christian Higher Education. Geneva is a founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).